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N7Prime
N7Prime New Reader
12/18/16 9:26 p.m.

Indeed, this is a German designed car with a Chrysler engine and Rover designed supercharger layout. (Take a Guess on which is the least reliable part of the car. :p)

None the less, I got it for a good price and the handling is fantastic. That supercharger whine......is addicting.

I'm posting this as a sort of timeline of my car, this will be a slow and arduous process. I don't like to cut corners so I take my time. That and I'm poor.

This is my daily driver and future Autocross/HPDE car.

2005 R53 With the 6 speed Getrag (Same as the SVT Focus)

Here are some pics When I first got it.

N7Prime
N7Prime New Reader
12/18/16 9:40 p.m.

So my low Brake pad light was on. The previous owner informed me that I needed new brakes.

I did.

That's not even the worst.

This one is.

You can see the groove on the backing plate the rotor made.

I don't have any pics of the new hardware but they were: New stainless braided hoses, brass caliper guide pin bushings, Centric NON-Cryo blank rotors from Tirerack and Hawk HP+ Brake pads. I also needed a new right rear caliper as the boot was torn, didn't want to deal with rebuilding it.

These Brakes are fantastic for my application.

I could care less about Brake Noise Or dust, Especially during a Panic stop. I'll turn up my Harmon/Kardon Stereo if the noise is too much. :p (Or until the AMP blows up)

mndsm
mndsm MegaDork
12/18/16 9:49 p.m.

Fun cars if they're happy, spiteful little E36 M3s if they're not. I hated mine, but I still want another.

N7Prime
N7Prime New Reader
12/18/16 9:56 p.m.

I've had this clunk every time I changed gear, and If I had any wheel spin (And I do considering the weight of the car and open diff) The drive-train would shake violently and bang around.

Culprit: Lower engine mount.

I replaced it with this BSH Mount.

However the Upper Hydraulic mount was leaking so I replaced it with this Vibra-Technics Poly upper mount. I chose this because I don't want another failure-prone hydraulic mount and I want a stiffer drive train.

Those two along with a Powerflex Black series Poly Gearbox Bushing insert translates to a good time :D.

The ONLY time I notice more vibration is when I'm taking off. That's it.

I've read reviews on how the vibration is so bad that sinkholes will appear and take you to Narnia.

Bull. The driving feel is more connected, but not NEARLY uncomfortable. But hey. That's just me. I guess I have a High tolerance for this stuff.

Oh. And I changed the Gearbox fluid to Redline MTL.

N7Prime
N7Prime New Reader
12/18/16 9:59 p.m.

In reply to mndsm:

Mine has been fine. But I find an excuse to buy parts and fix the "Unreliable" parts of it. It's been great for me. I guess it's due to it being a facelifted version (technical revisions and such) and me being anal about preventative maintenance.

mndsm
mndsm MegaDork
12/18/16 9:59 p.m.
N7Prime wrote: I've had this clunk every time I changed gear, and If I had any wheel spin (And I do considering the weight of the car and open diff) The drive-train would shake violently and bang around. Culprit: Lower engine mount. I replaced it with this BSH Mount. However the Upper Hydraulic mount was leaking so I replaced it with this Vibra-Technics Poly upper mount. I chose this because I don't want another failure-prone hydraulic mount and I want a stiffer drive train. Those two along with a Powerflex Black series Poly Gearbox Bushing insert translates to a good time :D. The ONLY time I notice more vibration is when I'm taking off. That's it. I've read reviews on how the vibration is so bad that sinkholes will appear and take you to Narnia. Bull. The driving feel is more connected, but not NEARLY uncomfortable. But hey. That's just me. I guess I have a High tolerance for this stuff.

The ones that bitch about vibration are ninnies. I'm used to driving a speed3 on full stiff, even with all that E36 M3, a cooper s is a cupcake. You'll do well.

N7Prime
N7Prime New Reader
12/18/16 10:16 p.m.

So in my paranoia infused preventative maintenance state. I replaced the Failure prone Harmonic Balancer with an ATI +2 percent overdrive Harmonic balancer, As I did not want to be stranded with a failed unit as they usually go at around 80k miles.

I also got it with the optional Titanium Hardware. Why? BECAUSE THIS IS THE FIRST TITANIUM ANYTHING I'VE EVER OWNED, AND NOBODY CAN TAKE THAT FEELING FROM ME.

.....anyways. On to the pics.

So purdy.

I also replaced the Belt tensioner, when it fails (Not if, WHEN) than it slams against the harmonic balancer, destroying it. (Thanks for that Rover.)

(Stuff like that is what get's me paranoid)

I also installed a tensioner stop to avoid that happening.

A vid to explain it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ia4lx-Qert0

Although I'll just buy an adjustable tensioner and eliminate the dampener down the road.

N7Prime
N7Prime New Reader
12/18/16 10:24 p.m.

I took it to a Dyno Day. Yay.

The only performance mods were a Hot air intake (With heatshield at least) and the 2% Overdrive pulley. Everything else is stock. Including the ignition system.

N7Prime
N7Prime New Reader
12/18/16 10:29 p.m.

Until now.

I put in some new Denso Iridium Power Sparkplugs, Magnecore ignition cables and a Screemin Demon Coil Pack.

(I had the plugs and cables on first, which is why they are on with the old coil.)

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/18/16 10:40 p.m.

Is the power at he wheels or crank?

Either way, I still want one of these so I'll be following along...

N7Prime
N7Prime New Reader
12/18/16 10:47 p.m.

I serviced my Supercharger. Time Consuming but very straightforward.

I noticed the car was quicker after everything was done, probably due to boost leaks that were fixed by changing all the seals and dried out hoses. Neat.

I also Replaced the Water Pump behind the Supercharger, Replaced the leaking plastic thermostat housing with an aluminum one and a 180 degree thermostat, new forge REDDDDDDDD (Because theY were CONSIDERABLY cheaper than Black) Silicone Coolant hoses and a CSF Aluminum Radiator. Which looks AWESOME.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
12/18/16 10:48 p.m.
N7Prime wrote: In reply to mndsm: Mine has been fine. But I find an excuse to buy parts and fix the "Unreliable" parts of it. It's been great for me. I guess it's due to it being a facelifted version (technical revisions and such) and me being anal about preventative maintenance.

Have you replaced the LCA bushings yet? If not, you will want Powerflex versions.

Ireland Engineering fixed camber plates are another good "fix a design flaw" upgrade.

N7Prime
N7Prime New Reader
12/18/16 11:00 p.m.

I'm a "While I'm in there" Kind of person.

The previous owner already replaced the Oil filter housing gasket and Crank sensor o-Ring so they do not leak.

However...Being as anal as I am, that wasn't good enough. So I took out the Crank sensor o-ring and replaced it with one made from Viton so make sure it won't leak for a LOOONG time. And if it does, it's a Good thing I bought two :p.

While I was in there I replaced the Leaking oil pan Gasket.

Not bad. But wait there's more.

While I was in there with the pan removed, I installed this...

RMW Baffled oil pickup. Extra insurance through the corners.

I was going to use this with the SneedSpeed Windage tray but it would not fit, Oh well, the tray will wait for now.

I'll be using this next oil service. Currently running Rotella T6.

N7Prime
N7Prime New Reader
12/18/16 11:04 p.m.

In reply to Ian F:

I like the ALTA PSRS Bushings for the front Control arms. I'll be upgrading the rear control arms to the R56 Aluminum ones. But that won't be for awhile. I'm still deciding on coilovers. And I WON'T be adding more power, It has plenty. What I don't have plenty of is low speed grip due to the low end torque and open diff. Until I have sufficient grip and supporting mods to the engine, i'm leaving that supercharger pulley stock.

N7Prime
N7Prime New Reader
12/18/16 11:10 p.m.

In reply to BoxheadTim:

I honestly don't know. Never bothered to ask since I don't really care about HP numbers, If I did than I bought the wrong car. I think my car has 174BHP from the factory. Again. I THINK.

Get a 2005-2006 R53, It's geared better and you get the teflon coated Supercharger blades same as the JCW cars from earlier years. Plus those are the years that offered the rare Factory LSD option.

Those are only a few reasons why the Facelifted cars (05,06. and 07 for convertibles only) are more desirable than the Pre-facelift cars. (02-04)

But you can read up on all the differences online.

NOHOME
NOHOME PowerDork
12/19/16 4:57 a.m.

And another German car crossed of the list of cars I would ever buy and own outside of the warranty period.

Seriously, engine mounts and harmonic balancer failures? And the failures are common enough that the aftermarket can make a living off the fix? That's about as crazy as a headbolt failing.

I hear they are brilliant to drive, when they are not broken.

Nathan JansenvanDoorn
Nathan JansenvanDoorn Dork
12/19/16 6:29 a.m.

Most powerful fwd cars have issues with the mounts: the Ford STs are the same. Many cars (SVT Focus for example) have issues with the dual mass flywheel.

I suppose my point is that it's not just a German car thing, it's a modern car thing. It's largely the price we pay for fast/economical/refined. It becomes easier if you can sacrifice one of these things, but then it's harder to sell new. :)

minivan_racer
minivan_racer UltraDork
12/19/16 6:52 a.m.
N7Prime wrote: Indeed, this is a German designed car with a Chrysler engine and Rover designed supercharger layout. (Take a Guess on which is the least reliable part of the car. :p)

That info sent me down a rabbit hole I didn't need to go down. I don't need to know that the supercharged mini engine would probably fit in a 2nd gen neon, because that would be a pointless swap right?

mndsm
mndsm MegaDork
12/19/16 7:30 a.m.
minivan_racer wrote:
N7Prime wrote: Indeed, this is a German designed car with a Chrysler engine and Rover designed supercharger layout. (Take a Guess on which is the least reliable part of the car. :p)
That info sent me down a rabbit hole I didn't need to go down. I don't need to know that the supercharged mini engine would probably fit in a 2nd gen neon, because that would be a pointless swap right?

Wait.

So, you're saying an r53 cooper s engine will fit into a 2nd Gen neon? Same neon that became an srt4? That means the swap should work the other way......oh god.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
12/19/16 7:32 a.m.
N7Prime wrote: I like the ALTA PSRS Bushings for the front Control arms. I'll be upgrading the rear control arms to the R56 Aluminum ones. But that won't be for awhile. I'm still deciding on coilovers. And I WON'T be adding more power, It has plenty. What I don't have plenty of is low speed grip due to the low end torque and open diff. Until I have sufficient grip and supporting mods to the engine, i'm leaving that supercharger pulley stock.

Is the intent for this to be a track car? I can see the PSRS bushing for that use, but not for street use. I know a couple of guys who tried them and they were removed rather quickly. To say they're a tad harsh is apparently a big understatement. I realize you said you think some of the harshness complaints about the engine mounts was exaggerated, but apparently these are on a whole 'nother level.

A stock R53 (non-JCW) was rated at 168HP. However, they can vary wildly when put on a dyno. Some engines are simply better than others.

The best "factory" R53 to get is a '06 Factory JCW car without a sunroof. They're getting harder to find, though.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
12/19/16 7:45 a.m.
mndsm wrote: Wait. So, you're saying an r53 cooper s engine will fit into a 2nd Gen neon? Same neon that became an srt4? That means the swap should work the other way......oh god.

LOL! This is like deja vu from a decade ago. Similar thoughts occurred when these cars were new. I forget the exact details (going off 10+ year old memory here), but while there are some vague similarities, the transmissions are NOT interchangeable. For one, the Neon engine is larger and the MINI engine barely fits as-is. Sure - anything is possible, but fitting would require replacing the entire front structure of the car - basically all of that formed sheet metal you see in the supercharger R&R pic above.

Also, the Tritec engine was not really a Chrysler engine. That was actually one of the big issues with the engine. Chrysler sort of failed on the deal. It was used in a few Euro market cars, but never in great quantities. IIRC, BMW more or less inherited it from Rover. That combined with a general lack of efficiency (the MPG from a meager 1.6L was marginal at best) was why it was replaced in the next generation cars. The engine is a tank and can be bored, stroked and boosted to make crazy power.

T.J.
T.J. UltimaDork
12/19/16 8:33 a.m.

Good thread so far. I don't plan on ever owning a MINI, but the thread is an interesting read none the less.

N7Prime
N7Prime New Reader
12/19/16 9:00 a.m.

In reply to Ian F:

Here is the history of the Tritec Engine from one of the developers.

http://www.northamericanmotoring.com/forums/1st-gear/297505-tritec-engine-developer-here.html

http://www.northamericanmotoring.com/forums/r50-r53-hatch-talk-2002-2006/297522-in-the-beginning-the-origins-of-the-tritec-engine.html

Part 2.

http://www.northamericanmotoring.com/forums/r50-r53-hatch-talk-2002-2006/297715-the-tritec-engine-part-2-early-design-efforts-and-building-the-team.html

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
12/19/16 9:08 a.m.

I've been playing with MINI's since 2003. I probably have as much experience tearing them apart and putting them back together as anyone who doesn't do it for a living.

Edit: WTF happened to NAM? Opening those links sent my virus software haywire.

N7Prime
N7Prime New Reader
12/19/16 9:12 a.m.

In reply to Ian F:

Okay. I'm not smart with this.

Enjoy the read if you want. I thought it was interesting.

Edit: They were fine for me, although im on my phone. Sorry about that.

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